17 May 2013 by Mindy Oon – CM
Andy Hamilton is a young educator from Northern Ireland who teaches in Ipoh. He serves in the youth ministry and kid’s ministry in Full Gospel Assembly Ipoh. Here is his testimony on how he ended up in Ipoh.
As a young man from Northern Ireland, one of the questions that I most often encounter is “Why Ipoh?” I am not surprised at this question, since teaching in Ipoh had initially not crossed my mind. The story begins back in July 2010, when I graduated from a teacher training college after four years of study. Pondering over my future, as the likelihood of teaching graduates finding a full-time position at home was slim, I thought about taking a teaching position abroad when I graduated. But, when it came to making a final decision, I felt that staying in Northern Ireland was the right thing to do. Without a full-time position, I would have to work part-time in a convenience shop and carry out relief teaching in order to support myself.
While I was excited by the prospect of getting to teach and put my degree to good use, the burden of living my life waiting on phone calls was tiresome. The frustration grew as I received rejection upon rejection from many teaching applications. Although, I was discouraged, I later learnt that God was actually answering what I had asked Him to do. In my quiet times, I had been asking Him to provide me with opportunities that would allow me to please Him, as well as to shut the doors on jobs that were not in His will for me. When I saw the bigger picture, it was a humbling experience, and I repented of my negative attitude. But, God would continue to allow me to be tested.
Suddenly, three job offers came my way. I heard about a potential teaching job in Malaysia from a good friend of mine in May 2011. I sent my C.V. in the hope that they would have something for me, and a few weeks later, I was contacted and interviewed by a school in Ipoh. In the same week, I was offered another two jobs in the Middle East that had very good packages. Looking to God about the situation, I was assured by Him that Ipoh was the place He wanted me to go to. I could have been easily tempted and deceived into thinking that the better offers were from the Lord.
We need to be prepared to place greater faith in God and wait patiently for Him, so that we do not miss out on His plans for us. And His plans for us are always the best. The decision to take the job in Ipoh was further confirmed when I had to face one of the most difficult situations in my life. My father fell very ill three weeks prior to when I had to leave, and I could not move away from my father at a time when he needed me most. My church elder advised me to ask for a later date of commencement from the school in Ipoh, and if they were keen to have me, then they would agree to it. If not, there would be other opportunities. Fortunately, the school agreed, and I was able to support my dad until his health got better.
In this period of time, various friends shared Romans 8:28 with me – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” God is able to turn our sorrow into joy when we trust and love Him. Dealing with my father’s health issues was difficult, but God brought good to the situation. I had a chance to witness to my father, I was there to assist my family, and I still had the job in Ipoh.
I still can’t believe that I’ve been in Malaysia for 18 months. Through all that has happened since July 2010, one thing has remained consistent, and that is God and His faithfulness. God has been there continuously to guide me and I have learnt to have greater faith and patience in Him. If you are going through tough times, always remember to keep placing your faith and patience in Him.
Picture reference: http://prayingmentis.blogspot.com/2012/02/faith-and-impossible.html
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